The Koreas at Night

Source: NASA

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의회 청문회
[12/12/2017] Protecting North Korean Refugees: Written Statement by Roberta Cohen, HRNK Co-Chair Emeritus
"PROTECTING NORTH KOREAN REFUGEES" House Foreign Affairs Committee Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations WRITTEN STATEMENT OF ROBERTA COHEN, CO-CHAIR EMERITUS, COMMITTEE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS IN NORTH KOREA (HRNK) ON “PROTECTING NORTH KOREAN REFUGEES” AT THE HEARING OF THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON AFRICA, GLOBAL HEALTH, GLOBAL HUMAN RIGHTS, AND INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS, DECEMBER 12, 2017  My appreciation to Congressman Christopher Smith and Ranking Member Karen Bass for holding this hearing to maintain a spotlight on North Korean refugees and their need for international protection. The world community’s preoccupation with massive movements of people fleeing war-torn countries has often overlooked the plight of smaller groups of refugees in desperate straits. The North Korean case is one such situation that should warrant international attention because of the extraordinary cruelty to which the asylum seekers and refugees are subjected. Unlike most governments, North Korea has made it a criminal offense to leave its country without permission, thereby preventing its citizens from exercising their internationally recognized right to seek asylum and become a refugee. Second, those who do try to escape face increasing obstacles -- electrified fences, enhanced border patrols, exorbitant bribes, and traffickers. Only 1,418 managed to reach South Korea in 2016. Third, if caught and returned, North Korean refugees are subject to systematic and brutal punishment, which the United Nations Commission of Inquiry (COI) has found to constitute crimes against humanity.[1]  Fourth, neighboring China collaborates with the DPRK in arresting and turning back North Koreans despite the abusive treatment they routinely suffer a
[12/12/2017] Protecting North Korean Refugees: Statement by Greg Scarlatoiu, HRNK Executive Director
"PROTECTING NORTH KOREAN REFUGEES" House Foreign Affairs Committee Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations Statement of Greg Scarlatoiu, Executive Director, Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK), on “Protecting North Korean Refugees” at the Hearing of the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations, December 12, 2017  Good afternoon Chairman Smith, Ranking Member Bass, and members of the Subcommittee. Thank you for the invitation to testify before you today. It is a true honor and a privilege.   My name is Greg Scarlatoiu. I am the executive director of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK). We are a nonpartisan research organization headquartered in Washington, DC that conducts original research on North Korean human rights issues. Over the last 16 years, we have published over 30 reports available at HRNK.ORG, documenting for the world the horrifying truth about the extent of human rights abuses in North Korea. Our work has played a central role in assisting and informing the efforts of the US State Department, the UN Commission of Inquiry, and numerous other stakeholders who care passionately about the rights of people in North Korea. Most recently, the report submitted by UN Secretary-General António Guterres to the UN General Assembly on August 28th quoted one of HRNK’s publications.   On behalf of HRNK, thank you for your time and interest in the plight of North Korean refugees, an ongoing human rights issue and crisis perpetuated by both North Korea and China today. The protection of North Korean refugees relates to fundamental human rights, human dignity, and state obligations under international law.   On the current situation of North Korean refuge
[04/29/2015] 북한의 강제 노동 사업: 정부 주도 하의 인신매매 시장 - 그레그 스칼라튜 사무총장
2015년 4월 29일 톰 란토스 인권위원회가 주최한 “북한의 강제 노동 사업: 정부 주도 하의 인신매매 시장”에 대한 청문회에 제출한 북한인권위원회 사무총장 그레그 스칼라튜의 서면 증언 피츠 의장님, 안녕하십니까. 북한인권위원회를 대표해서 북한의 강제 노동 시장과 북한 정부의 인신매매 가담 실태를 의장님과 논할 수 있도록 초청해주심에 큰 감사를 드립니다. 의장님과 이러한 주제들을 논할 기회가 주어진 것을 영광스럽게 생각합니다. 북한의 “궁중 경제” 북한의 핵·미사일 개발과 군사적 도발은 국제사회의 평화와 안보를 위협하고 있으며 미국의 외교·안보 정책에도 도전을 제기하고 있습니다. 북한 주민의 반대를 억누르기 위한 가차 없는 감시와 탄압, 국제사회로부터의 고립, 그리고 기본적 인권의 유린은 한반도의 평화와 안보를 약화하고 있습니다. 북한의 외화벌이 조직인 “궁중 경제”(미국 북한인권위원회 김광진 방문 연구원이 고안한 용어)는 북한 정권이 3대에 걸쳐 권력을 유지할 수 있게 해 준 수단입니다. 수만 명의 근로자를 해외로 파견해서 노동력을 수출하는 활동은 이 “궁중 경제”의 일부이며, 김 씨 정권을 유지하는 데에 중요한 역할을 하는 외화벌이 활동의 일부입니다. 이는 북한 국민을 대상으로 한 북한 정부의 인권 유린 사례 중 비교적 확연한 사례라고 할 수 있습니다. 해외 파견 근로자의 실태와 궁중 경제의 운영 원리를 이해하는 것은 북한 정권이 어떻게 생존해왔는지에 대한 이유를 더욱 정확하게 판단할 수 있도록 할 것입니다. 이는 또한 북한 정권의 안보 위협과 인권 유린에 대응하기 위한 더욱 효과적인 제재를 준비할 수 있게 할 것이며, 그럼으로써 북한의 인권 상황을 개선해 나아갈 수 있도록 할 것입니다. 증언 전문을 보고 싶으시면 위의 "PDF 다운로드"를 클릭하시길 바랍니다.
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[11/16/2022] North Korea and its Regime
Dear Friends of HRNK, You are kindly invited to participate in a hybrid lecture, "North Korea and its Regime," organized by the Dutch United Nations Student Association (SIB Amsterdam) and the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK). The lecture will highlight HRNK's role as a North Korean human rights advocate, the Kim regime and Juche ideology, human rights violations in North Korea, and what can be done by the general public. This hybrid event will be held on Wednesday, 16 November 1 PM (EST) / 7 PM (CET). The physical event will be hosted by SIB in Amsterdam, the Netherlands (UvA Roeterseilandcampus, Roetersstraat 11). It will also be live-streamed on Zoom. For further information, please contact SIB Amsterdam at [email protected]
[10/28/2022] Investigating DPRK Human Rights: Satellite Imagery, Lines of Responsibility, Accountability
The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK), The Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights (JBI), the Permanent Mission of Lithuania to the United Nations, the Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations, and the European Union Delegation to the UN hosted a side-event, “Investigating the DPRK Human Rights: Satellite Imagery, Lines of Responsibility, Accountability” on Friday, 28th October 2022, 1:15-2:45 PM (EST) in a hybrid format: virtually on Zoom and in-person at the premises of the Permanent Mission of Lithuania to the UN. This event highlighted the human rights infringements and crimes against humanity perpetrated at DPRK detention facilities as well as the chain of command and control responsible for those violations, in order to emphasize the importance of human rights accountability in the DPRK. Following presentations by ROK Ambassador-at-Large Lee Shin-wha and UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in the DPRK Dr. Elizabeth Salmón, the event featured briefings by HRNK Senior Advisors Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr. and Robert Collins, based on an ongoing HRNK investigation of DPRK detention facilities, which uses a methodology combining satellite imagery, witness testimony, and open-source research. Over three decades since the end of the Cold War, the DPRK has persisted as an egregious human rights violator. In the third decade of the 21st century, the DPRK continues to run a system of political prison camps and other unlawful detention facilities. Up to 200,000 men, women, and children are imprisoned at the DPRK’s political prison camps, pursuant to a feudal-inspired system of guilt-by-association, which punishes up to three generations for the perceived wrongdoing of one family member. To this day, the DPRK continues to discriminate against its own c
[09/26/2022] North Korean Workers Officially Dispatched to China & Russia: Human Rights Denial, Chain of Command & Control
On Monday, September 26, 2022, HRNK held a virtual launch of its latest report, North Korean Workers Officially Dispatched to China & Russia: Human Rights Denial, Chain of Command & Control by Greg Scarlatoiu, with Raymond Ha and Hyunseung Lee. The report finds that "the working conditions at overseas worksites constitute forced, slave labor." In particular, "there are severe violations of the International Labor Organization's core Conventions and North Korea's own labor laws." The report also provides information about the situation of overseas workers in China & Russia during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as an outline of the chain of command & control that directs the official dispatch of overseas workers. The report is available online at https://www.hrnk.org/uploads/pdfs/Overseas_Workers_0926.pdf. Greg Scarlatoiu, HRNK Executive Director, opened the event with an overview of the practice of dispatching North Korean workers overseas, along with a summary of HRNK's efforts to investigate the issue. Raymond Ha, HRNK Director of Operations & Research, then provided an assessment of the gravity of labor standard violations affecting North Korea's overseas workers. This was followed by Hyunseung Lee, HRNK Advisor and North Korea analyst, who gave a detailed presentation about how the North Korean regime manages and oversees the official dispatch of overseas workers. The event concluded with a brief Q&A session. Please click on the following link to view the video recording of the report launch: https://youtu.be/fSdjRB1pIXE
[09/15/2022] IPCNKR 18th General Meeting
HRNK hosted the 18th General Meeting of the International Parliamentarians' Coalition for North Korean Refugees and Human Rights (IPCNKR) on Thursday, September 15 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m at the DACOR Bacon House. Greg Scarlatoiu, HRNK Executive Director, moderated the event. Opening & Congratulatory Remarks (9:00-9:30 a.m.) The Hon. Ha Tae-keung, IPCNKR Chairperson & ROK National Assembly The Hon. Damon Wilson, President & CEO, National Endowment for Democracy The Hon. Hwang Woo-yea, IPCNKR Honorary Chairperson & former ROK Deputy Prime Minister for Social Affairs Session 1: Promotion & Protection of Freedom of Opinion & Expression in N. Korea (9:30-10:40 a.m.) Jang Hyoek, former entrepreneur & defector from N. Korea Dr. Baek Jieun, Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center The Hon. Hong Suk-joon, ROK National Assembly Kwon Eun-kyoung, Executive Director, NK Net Session 2: Crimes Against Humanity in N. Korea & Accountability I (11:00 a.m. - 12:20 p.m.) The Hon. Nakagawa Masaharu, member of the House of Representatives, National Diet of Japan (remote) The Hon. Futori Hideshi, member of the House of Representatives, National Diet of Japan The Hon. Ji Seong-ho, ROK National Assembly Choi Sung-yong, head of the Abductees' Family Union The Hon. Park Sun-young, former member, ROK National Assembly Luncheon (12:20-1:30 p.m.) Session 3: Crimes Against Humanity in N. K
[08/12/2022] The Rangoon Bombing Terrorist, Kang Min-chol
On October 9, 1983, North Korean agents planted a bomb at the Martyrs' Mausolem in Rangoon, Burma, attempting to assassinate the fifth president of South Korea, Chun Doo-hwan. Although Chun was unharmed due to an act of providence, fourteen South Korean presidential advisers, journalists, and security officials were killed, together with four Burmese nationals. One out of three North Korean assassins survived. This is the story of Kang Min-chol, the lone survivor of the 1983 North Korean terrorist hit squad. The report launch will be conducted virtually, via Zoom, at 10:00 a.m. U.S. Eastern Time (ET) on Friday, August 12. Following a presentation by Amb. Ra Jong-yil, the event will feature remarks by retired Lt. General Chun In-bum, ROKA, who was at the scene of the attack in 1983 as a first lieutenant, and Robert Collins, HRNK Author and Senior Adviser. Greg Scarlatoiu, HRNK Executive Director, will moderate the discussion. Zoom access information will be shared with registered participants on Thursday, August 11. The event will be open to the press and on-the-record.
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North Korea’s forced labor enterprise and its state sponsorship of human trafficking certainly continued until the onset of the COVID pandemic. HRNK has endeavored to determine if North Korean entities responsible for exporting workers to China and Russia continued their activities under COVID as well.

George Hutchinson's The Suryong, the Soldier, and Information in the KPA is the second of three building blocks of a multi-year HRNK project to examine North Korea's information environment. Hutchinson's thoroughly researched and sourced report addresses the circulation of information within the Korean People's Army (KPA). Understanding how KPA soldiers receive their information is needed to prepare information campaigns while taking into account all possible contingenc

North Korea’s Political Prison Camp, Kwan-li-so No. 14, Update 1
Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr., Greg Scarlatoiu, and Amanda Mortwedt Oh
Dec 22, 2021

This report is part of a comprehensive long-term project undertaken by HRNK to use satellite imagery and former prisoner interviews to shed light on human suffering in North Korea by monitoring activity at political prison facilities throughout the nation. This is the second HRNK satellite imagery report detailing activity observed during 2015 to 2021 at a prison facility commonly identified by former prisoners and researchers as “Kwan-li-so No. 14 Kaech’ŏn” (39.646810, 126.117058) and

North Korea's Long-term Prison-Labor Facility, Kyo-hwa-so No.3, T’osŏng-ni (토성리)
Joseph S Bermudez Jr, Greg Scarlatoiu, Amanda Oh, & Rosa Tokola
Nov 03, 2021

This report is part of a comprehensive long-term project undertaken by HRNK to use satellite imagery and former prisoner interviews to shed light on human suffering in North Korea by monitoring activity at civil and political prison facilities throughout the nation. This study details activity observed during 1968–1977 and 2002–2021 at a prison facility commonly identified by former prisoners and researchers as "Kyo-hwa-so No. 3, T'osŏng-ni" and endeavors to e

North Korea’s Political Prison Camp, Kwan-li-so No. 25, Update 3
Joseph S Bermudez Jr, Greg Scarlatoiu, Amanda Oh, & Rosa Tokola
Sep 30, 2021

This report is part of a comprehensive long-term project undertaken by HRNK to use satellite imagery and former detainee interviews to shed light on human suffering in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, more commonly known as North Korea) by monitoring activity at political prison facilities throughout the nation. This report provides an abbreviated update to our previous reports on a long-term political prison commonly identified by former prisoners and researchers as Kwan-li-so

North Korea’s Potential Long-Term  Prison-Labor Facility at Sŏnhwa-dong (선화동)
Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr., Greg Scarlatoiu, Amanda Oh, & Rosa Park
Aug 26, 2021

Through satellite imagery analysis and witness testimony, HRNK has identified a previously unknown potential kyo-hwa-so long-term prison-labor facility at Sŏnhwa-dong (선화동) P’ihyŏn-gun, P’yŏngan-bukto, North Korea. While this facility appears to be operational and well maintained, further imagery analysis and witness testimony collection will be necessary in order to irrefutably confirm that Sŏnhwa-dong is a kyo-hwa-so.

North Korea’s Long-term Prison-Labor Facility Kyo-hwa-so No. 8, Sŭngho-ri (승호리) - Update
Joseph S Bermudez, Jr, Greg Scarlatoiu, Amanda M Oh, & Rosa Park
Jul 22, 2021

"North Korea’s Long-term Prison-Labor Facility Kyo-hwa-so No. 8, Sŭngho-ri (승호리) - Update" is the latest report under a long-term project employing satellite imagery analysis and former political prisoner testimony to shed light on human suffering in North Korea's prison camps.

Human Rights in the Democratic Republic of Korea: The Role of the United Nations" is HRNK's 50th report in our 20-year history. This is even more meaningful as David Hawk's "Hidden Gulag" (2003) was the first report published by HRNK. In his latest report, Hawk details efforts by many UN member states and by the UN’s committees, projects and procedures to promote and protect human rights in the DPRK.  The report highlights North Korea’s shifts in its approach

South Africa’s Apartheid and North Korea’s Songbun: Parallels in Crimes against Humanity by Robert Collins underlines similarities between two systematically, deliberately, and thoroughly discriminatory repressive systems. This project began with expert testimony Collins submitted as part of a joint investigation and documentation project scrutinizing human rights violations committed at North Korea’s short-term detention facilities, conducted by the Committee for Human Rights